Mount Everest, the epic epitome of adventure, and the ultimate challenge for experienced mountaineers the world over, is now considered harder than ever to climb, mainly because of the extortionate price of a climbing permit.
A special permit issued by authorities in Nepal costs $11,000, which is fair enough if you have that kind of money to throw away, but a tad expensive if you don't. And most people don't.
Matt Grierson, from Colorado, was planning to take his girlfriend, Zoe Kruger, to Everest for their honeymoon in September, but after finding out about the $22,000 they'll be needing for the permits, he changed his mind
"Fuck that!" said Matt. "I want to climb it, not buy it!"
Another interested climber who became rather less interested when he heard about the cost, was Scott Brewer, from Idaho. He said:
"It's ridiculous! Plus, when you get there, it's fucking freezing, there's nowhere to stay, and there are no restaurants or bars! There's nothing to do, and the kids are going absolutely apeshit!"
But Nepalese officials defended the decision to charge an arm and a leg. Alan Yetty, for the Nepalese Tourist Board, told us:
"We have to provide emergency rescue services for those who get into difficulty. And the mountain has to be maintained, and that isn't cheap. Also, we have to line our pockets. People tend to forget this."